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Political Snippets from Around the Country

Check out these political snippets on primary results, congressional and gubernatorial races from across the country.

Primary Results

Alaska

With just under 70% of the voting tabulated, and as expected by consolidating the smaller Democratic vote, former state Rep. Mary Peltola (D) is leading the special election race to fill the state’s at-large congressional district left vacant when veteran Rep. Don Young* (R-Ft. Yukon) passed away in March.

Former Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) holds a 5,197 vote lead over Nick Begich, III (R) for the all-important second place position. Under Alaska’s new voting procedure, ballots postmarked on election day have until August 31st to reach the county clerk’s office and be tabulated. The extra time is important for the outlying rural areas to be included.

Second position is so important because the third-place finisher in this electoral situation, at this point Mr. Begich, will be eliminated and the Ranked Choice Voting process will begin. If Begich is eliminated, the ballots listing him as the first choice will be found and the second choice votes from only these ballots will be added to the process. The eventual winner will immediately be sworn into the House. All three of the aforementioned candidates also advanced into the regular general election.

Turning to the US Senate race, incumbent Lisa Murkowski* (R), running for a fourth full term, is first at this point in the counting process with 44% of the vote among 19 jungle primary candidates, and just ahead of former Alaska Director of Administration Kelly Tshibaka (R), who former President Trump long ago endorsed. Ms. Tshibaka’s current vote percentage is 40. It appears Democrat Patricia Chesbro (6.2%) is well-positioned to take a distant third place, while vying for the fourth and final position is between Republicans Buzz Kelley and Pat Nolin.

In the Governor’s race, incumbent Mike Dunleavy (R) looks to have secured first position with 41.7% of the jungle primary vote among ten candidates. Also clinching general election ballot slots are former state Representative Les Gara (D) with 22.0% of the vote, and ex-Gov. Bill Walker (I) who so far has posted a close 21.9%. The final general election qualifying position appears undecided between two Republicans, Charlie Pierce and Christopher Kurka.

Florida

A busy Tuesday night occurred around the country and particularly in the Sunshine State, as the political parties chose nominees in key statewide races and for Florida’s 28 newly drawn congressional districts. Thus, the last major primary date is now in the books.

The Florida statewide races were not in particular doubt. While Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio* were unopposed in their respective Republican primaries, Congressman and former Governor Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) easily defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, 60-35%, to claim the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. US Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando), as expected, was an easy 84% winner in the Democratic US Senate primary. 

In the northern Panhandle 1st Congressional District, three-term Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Ft. Walton Beach) brushed back what appeared to be a strong Republican primary opponent in former FedEx executive Mark Lombardo to win re-nomination. Rep. Gaetz, under FBI investigation for alleged sex trafficking, recorded a whopping 70-24% landslide victory. He now becomes the prohibitive favorite in the general election.

Paired general election incumbents Neal Dunn (R-Panama City) and Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee) were both unopposed in their party primaries. The two will square off in November from a northern Florida district that decidedly favors Rep. Dunn and the Republicans.

In the created open Jacksonville anchored 4th District, as expected, state Senate President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean easily won the Republican primary with 68% of the vote and becomes the heavy favorite to defeat the new Democratic nominee once a winner is declared. With 99% of the precincts reporting, businesswoman LaShonda Holloway holds a mere 207 vote lead over former state Sen. Tony Hill

Moving down the Florida Atlantic Coast, retiring Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-Winter Park) newly-crafted 7th District will likely see new Republican representation. Former Afghan/Iraq War veteran Cory Mills, who attracted national attention when organizing flights into Afghanistan to rescue stranded Americans when the Taliban gained control of the country, won the Republican primary last night with 34% of the vote over state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-Howey-in-the-Hills) and four others. His Democratic opponent will be Florida Democratic Party Vice Chair Karen Green who topped her primary field with 45% voter preference.

Turning to Rep. Demings’ open Orlando anchored 10th District, political activist and musician Maxwell Alejandro Frost defeated state Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) and former US Reps. Alan Grayson and Corrine Brown. Mr. Frost now becomes a lock to win the general election in November from this D+29 district as the FiveThirtyEight data organization projects.

Rep. Dan Webster (R-Clermont) had a more difficult primary battle than expected, but he scored a 51-44% win over national conservative activist Laura Loomer. The 11th District will be safe for the Congressman in the general election.

Turning to the open Tampa Bay area 13th District that Rep. Crist is vacating to run for Governor, 2020 GOP nominee Anna Paulina Luna, a Trump-endorsed candidate, again won the Republican primary, this time over a highly competitive contest from attorney Kevin Hayslett and 2020 candidate and attorney Amanda Makki*. She now faces former Defense Department official Eric Lynn who was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The new 13th now leans decidedly Republican, rated as R+12, so Ms. Luna becomes the early favorite to win in November.

In the open 15th District, which is technically the new seat that Florida earned in reapportionment, former Secretary of State Laurel Lee, as polling predicted, won the Republican nomination over state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), state Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa), and two others to advance into the general election. Ms. Lee will be favored over former television anchor and ex-congressional candidate Alan Cohn who bested a Democratic field to claim his party’s nomination.

While Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Miramar) won the special Democratic primary after Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) passed away by a mere five votes over former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, she locked down a full term last night by a much larger margin. The new Congresswoman defeated Mr. Holness 66-29% to easily secure the Democratic nomination, which is tantamount to victory in November.

With Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) leaving Congress to lead the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz easily won the Democratic primary. He becomes a strong favorite to succeed Mr. Deutch in November. Financial advisor Joe Budd was the Republican primary winner. The new 23rd District is rated D+9.

South Florida freshman Republican Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar* (R-Miami) and Carlos Gimenez* (R-Miami) won landslide renomination victories last night. Both will see competitive general election opponents in state Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami), who has twice lost statewide races, and ex-state Rep. Robert Asencio (D), respectively.

Hawaii

Hawaii held its statewide primary last Saturday, and the results produced no surprises. In the defining Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a physician, easily defeated former Aloha State first lady Vicky Cayetano and US Rep. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) in a landslide 64-21-14%, respectively. Mr. Green now becomes the prohibitive favorite to defeat Republican nominee, former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, who scored a majority victory in the GOP primary.

In the open 2nd House District race, former state Sen. Jill Tokuda recorded a 59-25% victory over state Rep. Patrick Branco (D-Kailua) and four others. She now becomes a lock to replace Rep. Kahele who risked his safe House seat for his long shot, and now proven unsuccessful, run for Governor. The Republican primary winner, with 83% of the vote, is 2020 GOP congressional nominee Joe Akana. He lost to Mr. Kahele 58-28% two years ago in the general election, and is likely headed to a similar fate later this year.

Sen. Brian Schatz was an overwhelming winner in his Democratic primary, notching 94% of his party’s vote. He will face state Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa), who won the Republican primary with a 41% plurality over four opponents.

Rep. Ed Case (D-Kaneohe) also easily won renomination in his 1st District Democratic primary, with an 84-16% landslide over progressive left challenger Sergio Alcubilla. Democratic turnout overwhelmed that of Republicans. With ancillary counting remaining, a total of 218,523 individuals voted in the Democratic primary versus just 59,006 who chose the Republican contests.

New York

The very busy New York congressional primary begins with a special general election win for the Democrats. In a race many believed the Republican nominee, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro* would covert, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan successfully held the 19th CD in the Democratic column with a close 52-48% win. Mr. Ryan will now serve the unexpired portion of former Rep. Antonio Delgado’s term. The latter man resigned the seat to accept his appointment as Lt. Governor.

Curiously, Mr. Ryan will seek his re-election in the 18th District as he ran for both seats simultaneously. There, he will face state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor) who was unopposed in the open seat Republican primary. Former congressional aide John Riley won the 19th Democratic primary and now advances into the regular general election against Mr. Molinaro.

Another incumbent pairing was also decided last night. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) easily defeated Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), 55-24%, thus ending the Congresswoman’s 30-year congressional career. Mr. Nadler had led in all polling, hence the final result is not surprising, though the size of his victory is greater than expected.

In the open 1st District, former Amityville Village Trustee Nick LaLota won the Republican primary and will attempt to succeed US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley/East Long Island) who is leaving the seat as the GOP gubernatorial nominee. Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming was the consensus unopposed Democratic candidate. The NY-1 seat leans Republican.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) left the 3rd District open to run unsuccessfully for Governor and former Democratic National Committeeman George Zimmerman took the Democratic nomination battle last night. Republicans are again turning to business development executive and 2020 congressional nominee George Santos. The 538 organization rates NY-3 as D+4 on the partisan index scale, so we can expect a spirited race here in the Autumn.

Former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen won a landslide victory in the Democratic primary and is now well positioned to succeed retiring Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) in the open 4th CD. Her opponent, unopposed in the GOP primary, is Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.

The wild 10th District Democratic primary ended as polling had predicted. Attorney Dan Goldman, who was one of the key House prosecutors in the Trump impeachment trial, scored a 1,300 vote victory over state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Nioh (D-Manhattan) to win the Democratic primary.

US Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-Westchester County), who decided to seek re-election in this NYC district over an hour away from his current constituency, placed third and becomes the 14th House member to lose renomination in this election cycle. Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was originally in this race, but withdrew when polling showed him in low single-digits even with 100% name identification. In a D+69 seat, Mr. Goldman has secured his place in the 118th Congress.

Freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers) was challenged, but he survived the renomination battle with a 57% win over Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi and two others.

In the new 17th District, the seat that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) took for himself, thus forcing Rep. Jones to Manhattan, was also decided last night. Rep. Maloney defeated state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) by a lopsided 67-33% count. He advances into what should become a competitive general election campaign against state Assemblyman Michael Lawler, who won the Republican nomination in a landslide proportion.

Turning to retiring Rep. John Katko*’s (R-Syracuse) 22nd CD, businessman Brandon Williams scored a 58-42% knockout of National Republican Congressional Committee favorite Steve Wells. Mr. Williams moves into another competitive New York congressional race against intelligence agency analyst and former congressional candidate Francis Conole, who won a close Democratic plurality primary with 39% of the vote. The 538 organization rates NY-22 as D+2, which is two points more Republican than the district configuration that Rep. Katko held for four terms.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) resigned his seat to accept a position in the private sector earlier this year. The Republican caretaker candidate, Steuben County Republican Party chairman Joe Sempolinski, won the special election to serve the balance of the term. He scored a 53-47% win over Democrat Max Della Pia. The latter man, however, won the regular election Democratic primary and he moves into the general election.

In the regular Republican primary, New York State Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy* defeated former gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino, 52-48%. Mr. Langworthy now becomes a clear favorite to defeat Mr. Della Pia in the general election in what is New York’s safest Republican district. Mr. Langworthy will take the seat in January after clinching the general election.

When Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-Orchard Park) decided not to seek re-election, the new 24th District became open. Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), who saw her current 22nd District collapsed, became the beneficiary of Mr. Jacobs’ decision. She decided to seek re-election here, and won last night’s Republican primary with a 54-40% win over businessman Mario Frotto. She now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the general election.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma runoff election also occurred yesterday. As expected, US Rep. Markwayne Mullin* (R-Westville) scored a landslide special election Republican runoff victory, 65-35%, over former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. Mr. Mullin advances into the special general election where he will be favored to defeat former US Rep. Kendra Horn (D). The winner will replace resigning Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) in January and serve the remaining four years of the current term.

In Rep. Mullin’s now open 2nd Congressional District, the primary’s second-place finisher, former state Sen. Josh Brecheen, won the Republican runoff with a 52-48% win over favored state Rep. and AGC member Avery Frix* (R-Muskogee). In Oklahoma’s safest Republican seat, rated R+55, Mr. Brecheen is now a prohibitive favorite to defeat Democratic nominee Naomi Andrews in the general election.

Wyoming

At-Large Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney* (R-Wilson/Jackson) lost her US House seat at the hands of attorney Harriet Hageman, the candidate former President Donald Trump supported early. The vote count was a landslide for Ms. Hageman, 66-29%, who ran a measured campaign. Her theme was concentrating on serving the constituency while highlighting that Rep. Cheney used the position to fulfill her own political goals.

The incumbent carried only her home county of Teton, which houses the cities of Jackson and Jackson Hole, and southeastern Albany County, while Ms. Hagman topped the vote totals in the state’s other 21 counties. Republican turnout overwhelmed that of the Democrats, 170,411 to just 7,233 ballots cast, suggesting that a large number of the latter party’s members did what Ms. Cheney asked and crossed over to vote for her in the Republican primary.

The GOP turnout was up 58.7% compared to 2020, while Democratic participation was down 69.3%, providing more evidence that a significant number of Democrats voted in the Republican primary. Two years ago, Ms. Cheney won a contested Republican primary with 73.5% of the vote, and scored a 68.6% win in the general election.

Ms. Hageman will now face the new Democratic nominee, Native American community activist Lynette Grey Bull, the 2020 party standard bearer against Ms. Cheney. Ms. Hageman now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the general election.

U.S. Senate

Florida

A pair of polls was recently released, and each shows a different leader. The University of North Florida released their survey (8/8-12; 1,624 FL registered voters; online) and surprisingly found Rep. Val Demings (D-Orlando) leading incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio* (R) by a 48-44% clip, the first time any poll had shown a result such as this since early May. In six polls since that time, Sen. Rubio had led in four with two dead heat ties.

Simultaneously, the Center Street PAC surveyed the Florida electorate (8/12-14; 610 FL likely voters) and found a completely different result. This poll projects Sen. Rubio to a 52-41% likely voter advantage, and a smaller 46-39% edge among the larger pool of 996 Florida registered voters. These two polls, conducted within the same relative time frame, show the volatility in the current race, which is typical for Florida election polling. Republican votes are also usually slightly under-counted in Sunshine State polls, as well.

New Hampshire

St. Anselm’s College released the results of their quarterly poll of Granite State voters, this one taken a month before the state’s late primary election. This New Hampshire sampling universe (8/9-11; 1,898 NH registered voters; 900 NH likely Republican primary voters; live interview), as have those from two other St. Anselm’s 2022 polls, sees President Joe Biden with an upside-down job approval rating. Mr. Biden registers 42:57% favorable to unfavorable.

Republicans hold a three-point lead on the generic party vote questions, and 68% of the respondents believe the country is on the wrong track versus just 21% who believe America is headed in the right direction. Democrats have a clear advantage on the abortion issue by a 49-23% margin.

In the Senate GOP primary to be decided September 13th, retired General and 2020 Senate candidate Don Bolduc holds a significant 32-16-4-4% advantage over state Senate President Chuck Morse* (R-Salem), former Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith, and investor Bruce Fenton.

Ohio

After seeing a series of six statewide polls that projected Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/ Youngstown) to be holding a small lead over author J.D. Vance (R), the new Emerson College survey sees a GOP rebound. The Emerson poll (8/15-16; 925 OH likely general election voters) finds Mr. Vance reversing the field to claim a three-point 45-42% edge.

The previous results were to be expected. Rep. Ryan developed a lead when spending $7+ million on early advertising with no counter from Vance or Republican outside groups. Now beginning to promote their message, we see a new survey reflecting Vance in a better position. Typically, the Ohio electorate polls close until the final two weeks when one candidate pulls away, usually the Republican, and wins the race going away.

Pennsylvania

Still recovering from a major stroke suffered right before the May 17th Pennsylvania primary, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman returned to the campaign trail late last week. This week, a new poll shows him expanding his lead over television doctor Mehmet Oz (R). Public Opinion Strategies released the results of their new August survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Works Together organization (8/7-10; 600 PA registered voters; live interview) that posts Mr. Fetterman to a 52-36% lead over Dr. Oz. This 16-point spread represents the largest polling margin of this campaign.

U.S. House of Representatives

NH-1

The co/efficient survey research firm tested the upcoming September 13th Republican congressional field in the state’s swing 1st District. New Hampshire’s eastern CD has defeated more incumbents than any seat in the country since the 2004 election.

In the Republican primary where candidates hope to challenge Rep. Chris Pappas (D-Manchester) in the general election, the survey (8/13-14; 829 NH-1 likely Republican primary voters; live interview & text) projects 2020 nominee Matt Mowers to be leading the field with 31% support. Former Trump White House media aide Karoline Leavitt 16%, state Rep. Tim Baxter (R-Portsmouth) 9%, and former news reporter and wife of ex-Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), Gail Huff Brown, at 8% preference. This district electorate will once again witness a highly competitive general election.

VA-7

RMG Research, conducting their series of polls around the country for US Term Limits (7/31-8/6; 400 VA-7 likely voters) finds two-term Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) leading Prince William County Supervisor Vesli Vega (R) by a 46-41% margin, suggesting we will see a highly competitive campaign effort from both sides throughout the remaining part of the general election cycle.

Though upside-down in job approval in the 7th CD, President Joe Biden’s ratio is better than in most places, 48:51% positive to negative. The Biden factor should be less of a drain on Rep. Spanberger than it may prove on certain Democratic candidates in other places.

Governor

Pennsylvania

The aforementioned Public Opinion Strategies survey (see Pennsylvania Senate above) also tested the open PA Governor’s race. The ballot test on this contest favors Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro over Republican state Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Fayetteville) by a strong 51-37% margin, slightly less than the Senate Democratic spread, but more than enough to secure a comfortable victory.


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